“It was wonderful! You should have been there! It’s just like the Sixties!” A Wisconsin teacher reported effusively to my friend, another Wisconsin schoolteacher. The first was referring, of course, to the dramatic shutdown of state government and the overrun of the capitol in Madison, Wisconsin, by thousands of union members and their allies. The second had chosen to actually stay home and show up to teach. Duty over rebellion. How un-sixties-like.
As University of Wisconsin grad, Ted Hamm, stood to speak on behalf of the teachers, long hair flowing, it WAS like stepping back in time. It’s an era many baby boomers look on fondly…the days of their youth. Certain songs trigger in them memories of marijuana and LSD. Others chuckle at the thought of anti-war demonstrations, flowers-in-their-hair, bell-bottomed pants and personal sexual freedom.
Others remember the truth. The Sixties were a time of unbridled self-indulgence; a spoiled generation turned loose on the world to be the rotten young adults they had become. Selfish…indulgent…rebellious…without respect or responsibility, chanting profound slogans like “Make love, not war!” and “Give peace a chance.” “Sex, drugs and rock and roll” was really the only one that captured their intent. They didn’t want war because it required sacrifice and they only wanted peace because they thought it translated to more unbridled sex and drugs.
Still others were serious as hell itself about their rebellion. They folded themselves among the silly sheep and led them nearly successfully to the abyss. They were the William Ayerses and Bernadine Dorns who actively sought the “violent overthrow of the United States government” through the Weather Underground.
We came back from that abyss, but some of that era never figured out what had happened. Those are the ones who look back fondly on their part of it. Others continued down the path to subversion with more stealth.
Many entered the workforce as teachers. And not long after, began to demand “workers rights.” This was code for another movement we once understood to be dangerous…communism. The Eastern European communists worked through labor unions as did Mao in China to stir up the people, pitting them against one other, sowing seeds of discord and eventually working among them in order to take power. “Workers of the world, unite!” was their battle cry and it became the battle cry of American unions as well.
To say the demonstrations in Madison are like the Sixties is “right on, man!” Willing sheep led by canny shepherds…flaunting rules that don’t please them, like showing up for work as teachers or legislators and writing fraudulent prescriptions to achieve their own ends….very Sixties-like indeed.
Facing a $3.6 billion budget deficit, Governor Scott Walker is asking that teachers contribute 5.8% to their pensions and 12.6% to their healthcare; Far less than private sector workers pay at a time when many would give anything to be gainfully employed or insured. But the union can’t be constrained by such logic. Like spoiled children, or intentional subversives, they will not be denied their “rights” even if it means the destruction of their state and of the economic future of taxpayers who must bear the burden.
According to the Democratic Party press releases, eagerly stoking the flames, Governor Scott Walker and the GOP are “assaulting working families” …”trying to end the ability of workers to organize for good wages and benefits”… “hurting workers” … “singling out one group for punishment”….”inflicting burdens on those hurt most by the recession.”
Only a formerly drug-induced hippy could believe such statements, but then again, the teacher’s unions are full of them.
It’s like the Sixties, all right. And we’d better recognize the dangers of that before it’s too late. Adult hippies carried their irresponsibility into family life, creating the highest divorce rate and most neglected children in America’s history. They have wrecked the family and the public school with the help of schoolbook architects like William Ayres writing curricula to control minds and persuade America’s youth to their perverse thinking.
If they have their way, they WILL destroy the United States of America. And having their way, is what this spoiled generation is in the business of getting.
I have a solution. Let’s break the teacher’s unions, abolish the Department of Education and turn schools back to the control of state governments. Let’s allow private and charter and home schools to flourish with the money we have saved. Let’s establish national basic standards in science, math, English and history with a huge emphasis on American civics and turn states loose to add the rest.
Let’s free teachers to teach…make administrators and teachers partners again with parents who have been marginalized by the undermining of parental rights. Let’s restore discipline and responsibility to students and parents alike. Let’s give rewards to states that academically perform best on the world stage. Let’s let teachers contribute to their own political causes and stop forcing them to give their money to efforts they philosophically oppose.
And as this retro-glimpse takes us back into the Sixties, let’s eradicate any fondness for it….forever!